Exmouth woman's 23-mile trek for dementia research

east devon

The walkers joined Anna on the way. (Anna kneeling front left, Stephen, Anna's dad second right) - Credit: Sarah Jane.

A woman from Exmouth walked 23-miles around East Devon to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society.

Anna Childs set herself the challenge of walking a 23-mile circular route from Budleigh to Tipton St John and back.

She designed a route that took her past her home in Exmouth and then onto her parents’ home in Tipton St John.

Anna chose to fundraise for the Alzheimer's society when her dad was diagnosed and has been planning the walk since the start of the pandemic. 

east devon

Stephen Childs, Anna's dad taking part in the walk - Credit: Sarah Jane.

Like many people, Anna started walking a lot and exploring her local area more than she ever had done before.

Anna started on March 19 and finished back in Budleigh. She was joined by some of her friends on various legs of the journey.

She said one surprising moment throughout was when her dad, Stephen, said he would like to join her on the last seven-mile stretch along the River Otter. 

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Anna said: “When my dad said he wanted to join us with his walking pole for the final stretch along the River Otter, it was just amazing.

"We got to the finish line, my very fit friends hung back to allow my dad to finish first.  He impressed everyone and I will never forget the day. It was epic in every way.

“While he is physically ok, it was huge for dad to walk that distance.  I don't know how much he understood about what we were doing and why, but he was adamant that he wanted to join us.

“The situation with my dad has been very difficult for all of us, but especially for my mum. Many of us know someone with this horrendous disease. 

"It’s horrible to see someone you love disappear before your eyes, so the walk was my way to take a very sad situation and do something positive.

“It is important for me to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society because it is a charity so close to my heart. All those families out there who are experiencing dementia would be in much more pain without this vital service."

You can still donate to Anna's just giving page here - https://justgiving.com/fundraising/anna-childs8